family name use

Jerry Bricker lcjbrick at ANTELOPE.WCC.EDU
Fri Jun 21 22:31:52 CDT 1996

On Fri, 21 Jun 1996, Curtis Clark wrote:

> No, it's not equivalent to "England", no more than "data" is singular.
> Family names of both animals and plants are Latin plurals, and animal family
> names have the added distinction of being formed like Roman family names (if
> I remember correctly, the extended family called _gens_). Even if we look at
> popular usage (where "data" is often singular), a family is not a place,
> it's a group (if it were a place, Lamium could get up and move and it would
> keep its name :-).

I agree that a family is a group of individuals. The original question
does not relate to the fact whether a family is a plural category but
it context of usage in english.  Lamiaceae is a single unit although it
contains well over 3500 species.  John Nelson's sentence structure and
grammar should reflect the singular and not the plural.  As an example, I
live in the state of Wyoming.  I would not write "members of the
populations" as the tense would not agree.  It is more correct to state
"members of the population."  Population is a single unit just as
Lamiaceae is singular.

Of course I could be wrong (english is my native tongue and I still
have yet to master it).  In any case, put me down for #2.

Jerry Bricker

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